Friday, June 18


Steve Mitchell keeps digging into the particulars of the USDA's testing plan, and has uncovered the fact that they plan "to notify industry officials of positive mad cow test results at least one hour before informing the public." He notes wryly that "The revelation comes as government officials are being investigated for possibly leaking information about the first U.S. case of mad cow in December to commodity traders prior to telling the public."

UPDATE 6/19: Mad Cow testing slow to get started nationally The AP reports that the much-ballyhooed acclerated BSE testing program that was supposed to make us not care how few tests have been done since December has tested less than 3,000 cattle (2,871) in its first two weeks. Calling the program "slow to gear up to the point where it can screen 220,000 animals" in 12 to 18 months, the story quotes Agency spokesman Jim Rogers' spin: "On the first day, it wasn't expected we would be performing at maximum output." OK, well, it's not the first day, pal, it's the first two weeks. And even if you went the full 18 months, at this rate, Mr. Rogers, you'd complete 113,000 tests not even FIFTY FREAKIN' PERCENT OF THE NUMBER "PROMISED." We'll wait and see when the program actually does start to "gear up."

Thursday, June 17


"A recent study indicates that exercise is more important than calcium in developing strong bones in girls and young women. Researchers at Penn State University and Johns Hopkins University found that even when girls took in far less calcium than the recommended daily allowance, bone strength was not significantly affected, said Tom Lloyd of Penn State's College of Medicine at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. However, when the girls were asked about their exercise habits, a strong correlation was found between exercise and bone strength."


It's not McDonalds' fault - at least not directly - that some nut slammed his car into its Mount Ephraim restaurant and killed two of its workers a couple years back. It is McDonalds' fault that the chain is trying to use a ridiculous technicality to deny life insurance benefits to the family of one of the killed workers. The excuse that Molino had been promoted from her previous position and so was working with no coverage is so patently fraudulent that even regular Joes are now boycotting Mickey D's in response. Once again, is anyone really surprised that an industry predicated on denying the reality of animal suffering doesn't give a rat's ass about the human variety either?

Wednesday, June 16


A little over-the-top, but the fact is, a huge study (over 100,000 people for more than a decade) says eating fruit protects against an eye disease which causes blindness. "Bananas and oranges were strongly linked with protective benefits." Related: Vitamin C Protects Against Rheumatoid Arthritis. "British researchers report that people with a high daily intake of vitamin C from fruits and vegetables are three times less likely to develop the painful joint illness than those with less healthy diets."

Tuesday, June 15


OK, I'm back. Where to start? How about with this story from last week: "A judge has ordered three days of bread and water for a woman convicted of animal cruelty in neglecting two horses. Melissa Dawn Sweeney, 28, was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail after her Friday conviction on two counts of animal cruelty. Harris County Criminal Court-at-Law Judge Mike Peters sentenced her for neglecting two horses kept outside her Baytown mobile home. 'She's going to get more than her horses got,' Peters said Monday. The judge also ordered that enlarged photographs of her famished horses be kept posted on her jail cell wall, 'so she'll have a reminder of what she did.'" Well, that's fine as far as it goes, but what about all the other animal cruelty that goes on? When are pig slaughterers and chicken slaughterers gonna get their due?